News

Flooding Closes Waipio Valley Road

March 24, 2014, 12:06 PM HST
* Updated March 24, 5:36 PM
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Heavy rain continues to cause problems in the Waipio Valley area.

Shortly after 11 a.m. today, the Civil Defense Agency issued a notice that the Waipio Valley Road was closed due to flooding.

Limited access was being allowed for residents of the steep-sided northern Hamakua valley, the agency said.

The area above the valley has been hammered by more than 17 inches of rain since Friday morning, according to preliminary data from the National Weather Service.

That includes 8.72 inches in the 24-hour period ending at 8 a.m. today.

The heavy rains also left eight hikers unable to cross swollen rivers in Waipio Saturday, forcing them to spend the night in the valley.

The hikers were rescued by fire department personnel shortly after daybreak Sunday.

No injuries were reported.

Despite the Big Island’s recent drying trend, the upper slopes of the valleys straddling the border between the Hamakua and North Kohala districts have been consistently wet the past several years.

The weather service’s rain gauge at Kawainui Stream was the only one on the island to record rainfall above normal levels for the past two years.

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